Local church treasurer and finance training will be held at the UM Building in Garner on Wednesday, January 11, 2023, from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm. Local church treasurers, finance committee members, and pastors are invited to register. We will cover important topics such as tax requirements, local church internal controls, local church audits, and much more! Due to ongoing pandemic concerns, attendance will be limited to 60 persons. A registration fee of $10 per person is required to help cover the cost of lunch. Please share the word and we hope to see you soon!
The Word Became Flesh and Moved into the Neighborhood (John 1:14 MSG)
by Rev. Dr. Tim Catlett, Executive Director of New Faith Communities
My family has lived on the same street for almost 10 years. This is the longest we have lived in one place. We have watched the children in our neighborhood grow from toddlers to teenagers. We have celebrated life milestones together, and grieved life’s losses together. However, when we first moved into our neighborhood, we were new. We did not yet know each other’s stories. We had to listen and learn about each other, and grow and change together as a community.
In Eugene Peterson’s The Message, John 1:14 is paraphrased as, “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.” During the Advent and Christmas season, we remember the world changing event of the incarnation. The idea that the incarnation of Jesus could be understood as God “moving into the neighborhood” has shaped many Christmas sermons, conversations, and even our practices of co-creating new faith communities.
Some of the same practices which occur when new people move into a new neighborhood also occur when a new faith community is co-created in a new place. It takes time to listen and to learn from the neighbors who are already there. It takes time to learn each other’s stories and to build trusting relationships and authentic community. Over time, the community is able to celebrate, grieve, grow, and change together.
For our churches, one of the first questions we must ask is, “who is our neighbor?” We follow-up with questions like, “what kind of neighbor will we be in this community?” Over time, and with God’s grace, as the body of Christ takes shape in a community, we experience the privilege of suffering and celebrating together. Our churches are shaped by the community, and the community is shaped by the body of Christ.
And just like the whole world changed when the Word became flesh and moved into the neighborhood, our prayer is our congregations and communities might also experience the transforming power of the gospel because the presence of Christ is welcomed among us.
Thank you for your ongoing prayers and support for our new faith communities who seek to be good neighbors, as we co-create new places for new people to gather at the expansive communion table of Jesus Christ.
As always, thank you for your support.
To make a financial contribution for 2022, please visit us online, https://nccumc.org/new-faith-communities/.
As Bishop Fairley’s time among the people of the NC Conference comes to a close, leaders from around our Conference expressed their gratitude for him, for his wife, Dawn, and for their shared ministry life with us. Watch the video below.
We’ve created a form where you can share your words of gratitude as well. The form will be open until January 17. Once everyone has had a chance to share, we’ll deliver them to Bishop Fairley with our sincere thanks.
We are offering an amazing opportunity, a journey/course with a cohort of justice-seeking people with the authors of Healing Haunted Histories, Dr. Elaine Enns and Ched Myers. This original work, subtitled “A Settler’s Discipleship of Decolonization,” brings innovative and transformative learning experiences to persons who want to pursue more fully the intersectionality between faith and restorative justice. Hope and healing will be found through exploration and engagement with the landlines, bloodlines, and storylines that have shaped our relationships with Indigenous neighbors and other historically marginalized groups.
Dr. Enns brings decades of meaningful, innovative, and disruptive leadership in restorative justice and peacemaking. For the folks who have participated in the past, this has been an entirely life-giving and transformational experience. We have built our capacity to challenge injustice and bring hope-filled change into our world. We have deepened our understanding of our own families and systems.
Beginning in January, Elaine is offering a ten-month journey of engaging this text collectively and personally. We will meet via ZOOM on the 3rd Saturday of each month from noon until 3 pm. We will meet through June and then take July and August off, reconnecting in September – December. Between these gatherings, we will offer small group breakouts to encourage one another, tell our personal stories, and share how our journey through the material unfolds.
The first 10 Registrants receive a $1000 scholarship. The total cost of the course is $1250. The NC Conference will offer a scholarship of $1000 per person for the first ten people. You will only pay $250.00 for your registration plus two books for the course.
REGISTER HERE: Neighborhood Seminary – Healing Haunted Histories.
You will need to pay the $125 registration fee ($135 if you want CEUs). The North Carolina Conference will then provide a $1000 scholarship. In January, you will pay the remaining $125 for the course. Register before December 31 for an early bird discount of $25. The 40% discount code for the book will be sent to you as soon as you register.
Upon completion of the course, we expect that you will use your newly gained knowledge and experience to continue the work of equity and justice in our NC Conference and be willing to help expand the work in your district.
Steve Taylor, Executive Director of Connectional Ministries, says, “My experience with this material and a journey with the 2021/2022 cohort has been one of the most profound of my life. I have learned of deep family stories that have been liberating, joyful, painful, and uplifting, sometimes bringing laughter, sometimes tears, but always increasing my ability to work for change, justice, and life. I have met new friends, engaged in new communities, and discovered a deeper, more profound faith.”
“The wounds of white supremacy are deep and horrific. This reality spills over all of us. But we can work together for healing and justice. We can work together for life and love. The work and engagement of Healing Haunted Histories has offered that for me. I hope and pray this for you.”
Scouting Ministries has released the following updates as the year draws to a close:
- A final version of the Affiliation Agreement has been released on the GCUMM website, dated Dec. 15, 2022. There is only one Final Affiliation Agreement and one Facilities Use Agreement. These will be the documents for the next year.
- The stated background check requirement has been put back in, but this time, in line with the requirements BSA agreed to in the bankruptcy (Section II, “The Local Council Agrees to” Section B. Adult Leadership. 4)
- The original statement of BSA compliance with the settlement, requiring background checks every two years, remains unchanged. (Section II, “The Local Council Agrees to” Section B. Adult Leadership. 3)
GCUMM will not and has not taken actions that diminish the protection of the church. We do seek ways to grow the ministry, care for children safely, and honor the calling of tens of thousands of adults who volunteer to live out their faith.
Yours in Service,
Steven Scheid, Director
Center for Scouting Ministries / GCUMM
Help Spread the Word: Free Telemedicine Program for COVID-19 Treatments Launched: NCDHHS is launching a time-limited program in partnership with StarMed Healthcare to provide free access to telemedicine screenings for COVID-19 treatment for North Carolinians who test positive. This program is available now until funding runs out, which is expected to be around mid-March.
People who test positive for COVID-19 with an at-home test or other method can set up an appointment online at https://starmed.care/nc/ or call 704-941-6000, seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. There is no cost to the patient. Read our press release for more information.
- This service is available regardless of insurance status and IDs are not required. If you do not have insurance, you will not be charged for your appointment.
- If you have insurance, StarMed will bill your health plan and NCDHHS will pay for any additional balance.
- Appointments are available in English, Spanish and more than 200 other languages through an on-demand interpretation service. American Sign Language interpretation is also available.
- If the patient is eligible for antiviral treatment, such as Paxlovid, the provider will send a prescription to the patient’s desired pharmacy. There is also an option to mail order the medication. Oral antiviral pills are available at no cost to the patient.
- The telemedicine program will last until funding runs out, which is estimated to be about mid-March.
After a positive test, early treatment is key to avoiding severe illness and hospitalizations, and treatment may even reduce complications from post-COVID conditions, also called long COVID.
Everyone, especially people at high risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, should have a plan to contact a health care provider right away if they test positive. This telemedicine program offers another option for quick access to lifesaving treatments. Please help spread the word in your communities:
- Printable flyer
- Visit MySpot.nc.gov/FindTreatment (Spanish) or set up a telemedicine appointment online or by calling 704-941-6000.
Updated COVID-19 Vaccine Dose Now Available for Kids 6 Months to 4 Years: Most children 6 months to 4 years are now eligible for their updated COVID-19 vaccine, which offers the most up-to-date protection against COVID-19 variants. These vaccine doses are becoming available in North Carolina this week following the Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation.
The updated vaccine is a bivalent vaccine that targets both the original coronavirus strain and Omicron variants. Like previous COVID-19 shots, children 6 months through 4 years get a smaller dose of this updated vaccine than other age groups. Children under 5 should get the same vaccine brand for all recommended doses. Children are eligible for the updated dose of their COVID-19 vaccine if they are:
- 6 months to 5 years and got their last dose of a Moderna vaccine at least two months ago
- 6 months to 4 years who already had two doses of the Pfizer vaccine and are ready for their third dose
Children 6 months and older may be able to get the updated COVID-19 vaccine and other routine vaccines they are due for at the same visit, including during routine checkups. Parents should talk with a health care provider to make sure their child is up to date on COVID-19 and other vaccines. The updated vaccine, like all COVID-19 vaccines, is safe to get alongside the annual flu shot.
As we spend more time gathering indoors this winter, it’s important that everyone stays up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines to help protect against serious illness, hospitalization, death, and long-term complications from the virus.
We need your help to make sure every North Carolinian has easy access to the information they need to protect themselves and others.Please share the resources below with the communities you serve:
Currently, COVID-19 vaccines are still free to everyone through federal funding, regardless of insurance or immigration status. When federal funding ends, COVID-19 vaccines will be available like flu shots and other routine vaccinations but may no longer be free for everyone. Flu vaccines are often available at little to no cost. To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines including nearby providers, visit MySpot.nc.gov or contact the CDC-INFO Contact Center at 800-CDC-INFO.
Thanks for all you do!